Slot – How to Become a Slot Receiver in the NFL

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The Slot receiver is a wide receiver position that has become more and more important in the modern NFL as offenses move away from the traditional three-wide receiver alignment to more three-receiver/two-back formations. Often shorter and quicker than outside wide receivers, Slot Receivers have a unique set of responsibilities and traits that they must possess in order to be successful.

Despite the fact that they don’t have to deal crushing blocks like offensive linemen, Slot Receivers must be able to block well in order to prevent defenders from getting to ball carriers. They may also need to act as the ball carrier on certain running plays, including pitch plays, reverses, and end-arounds.

In addition to blocking, Slot Receivers must be able to run precise routes. They are often a little bit quicker and shorter than outside wide receivers, and as such, they must be able to master every passing route possible in order to thrive in the position. Moreover, they must be very adept at timing their releases in order to get open quickly on all types of patterns and routes.

Another important aspect of slot is that it must be able to read the defense and know when to run and when to pass. This requires good footwork and excellent hands. In addition, it must be able to recognize coverages and adjust its routes accordingly. Finally, a Slot Receiver must be able to catch the football with both hands and make difficult catches on contested passes.

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